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Our South America Story

It was in the early 2000's that one of our enthusiastic guides decided to research offering our type of trips in South America. With a vast knowledge of South America from years spent in Costa Rica surfing and teaching English, as well as guiding tours around the continent for backpackers, itineraries were designed that we knew our clients would love. With the support of an excellent and dedicated team in New Zealand, we started and launched our South America trips in Peru, Bolivia Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and Patagonia.

Now, we’ve had the pleasure of guiding thousands of happy travellers on outdoor adventures and hiking trips all over South America and we’ve always believed that an Active Adventures trip can make the difference between ‘visiting’ versus really ‘experiencing’ our destinations. 

South America our story

From the beginning...

We ran the first Active Adventures trip in 1996 with just three clients, sharing our favourite parts of New Zealand. It was a great trip with plenty of home-made trifle, long but awe-inspiring hiking days and story-telling late into the night. The next trip had a few more takers and it didn’t take long for the trips to gather momentum. Soon, we had a small team of staff to run our trips and had clients from far and wide keen to join in the adventures. For two decades now, the company has maintained its identity of running small, fun, physically challenging, outdoor adventures in destinations we know and love.

Other Active Adventures destinations

Then, in 2010, we launched our Himalayas trips. With New Zealand having a very close link to the Nepalese Himalayas (most famously connected by Sir Edmund Hilary and the Hilary Foundation) we realised how well Nepal fits the Active DNA. Before we knew it the Himalayas quickly became a very popular destination for our clients, with many of them on their second or even third Active trip!

The latest destination in which we've launched trips is Europe. In 1998 our founder made his way to Europe with a few dollars in his pocket, a surfboard and hiking boots in hand. Surfing soon took a backseat after discovering the treasures of the European Alps, and good coffee! The lure of the Alps hiking trails, rivers, lakes and villages never went away, prompting a return to live there in 2012 with his family and carve out the foundations of Active Adventures Europe. As we've kept doing over the years with all our destinations, our Europe adventure tours are the result of our personal commitment, passion and experience in every location.

The behind-the-scenes team

We have a fantastic team running the show behind the scenes - a small and focused group of multi-talented individuals. We all bring a set of unique experiences, and with our own active lifestyles, we genuinely understand what it takes to experience a journey like no other, from the moment you get in touch and beyond. We look forward to you being part of the ongoing Active Adventures story.

Trip Reviews

  •   4.50 out of 5 (from 1973 reviews)

    Wonderful Trip

    Terrific Trip!! Beautiful Country! Terrific Organization! Wonderful Guides! Great Food! I was very impressed with Cynthia and Puma and all the others that contributed to making this kind of trip possible. It is a sign of a well run organization when it values and hires such terrific people. They took very good care of us, were extremely well educated, and were very easy to get along with not to mention patient and fun. The Inca Trail views were absolutely breath taking but this really was a very well rounded trip. I enjoyed the cities of Cuzco and Puno, the trip to Porto Maldonado and the jungle with the extremely interesting hotel, and Lake Titicaca with our trips to a couple of the islands and stay with one of the families. Our tour of Lima was a great way to finish off our trip. One more thing-the food was absolutely the best. I have never eaten that well.
    Edward Olson Review Image
    – Minnesota, United States
    Jaguar 2017, August 2016
  •   4.55 out of 5 (from 1341 reviews)

    Outstanding Adventure with the Best Guide Ever!

    The Tortuga trip was phenomenal. From the moment I arrived, my every need was met and all with grace and professionalism. The trip was well planned, we saw and did so many things, from adventures like hiking and biking, snorkeling and kayaking, to learning all about the Galapagos in a way a book will never tell you. What brought everything off the pages of a book, and from the land in front of us was the knowledge and the passion of our guide Pablo. What a treasure he is! He could answer anything, and it was all shared with enthusiasm, passion, caring, love for this land. I felt so honored to have had him as our guide. Thank you! The food was outstanding, the accommodations perfect. I could not fault a single thing!
    Laurie Kelley Review Image
    – Massachusetts, United States
    Tortuga, December 2016
  •   4.50 out of 5 (from 1973 reviews)

    Taste of Peru

    What an amazing trip! 14 days really gives a good taste of Peru. From high elevations of Cusco, Sacred Valley and the Lares Trail to the mysticism of Macchu Picchu, on to the loud cicadas of the jungle and the floating islands and welcoming Amantai family on lake Titicaca, this is a bucket list trip that will give you a taste of Peru that will make you want to return.
    Natalya Verscheure Review Image
    – Colorado, United States
    Jaguar 2017, October 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 938 reviews)

    Fantastic trip

    This was my first hiking trip, and I must say it was fantastic!!! Patagonia is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been (and I travel a lot). I want to mention that you have to be in reasonably good physical condition to enjoy this trip. I am glad that I trained for it. Arturo, our tour guide and Catherine (the W Trail guide) were excellent. They also made sure that they accommodated my dietary requirements (gluten, diary, and soy free) on the W Trail, which is not an easy task. I enjoyed every moment of the trip. I will definitely book another trip with Active Adventures, now that I know how much I enjoy hiking and active trips.
    Simona Walsh Review Image
    – Pennsylvania, United States
    Condor, August 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 938 reviews)

    Patagonia 2016

    Trip was amazing - Harder the hikes the better the view
    Dean Clough Review Image
    – Massachusetts, United States
    Condor, January 2017

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Why travel with Active Adventures?

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

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